Volleyball Unable to Catch Experienced American, 3-0
Aug. 28, 2010
FAIRFAX, VA -- When GW lined up to play American in its second match of the season Saturday morning, the experience factor weighed heavily in favor of the Eagles. Five of AU's six starters were seniors compared to just two seniors in the Colonials' starting six. Not surprisingly, the Eagles controlled much of the match in a 3-0 sweep that was closer than the final score would suggest. AU won by the scores, 25-19, 32-30, 26-24 in an hour and a half at George Mason University's Recreation Athletic Complex in Fairfax, VA.
The 11 a.m. start time did not work in GW's favor either as the Colonials got off to a slow start. "We've never been a fast-starting team," head coach Jojit Coronel said. "I thought we played very well, American just played better. Barry [Goldberg] and his staff did a great job. It helps having a lot of seniors who know how to play the game and prepare for an 11 a.m. match. We just played flat. We brought in Jamie Armstrong and Taylor Knox to try to give us some energy but if we can play flat and still hit .250 and pass like we did today, I think we're in a great position. Even though we still lost, it was a successful match in some ways. We just have to be able to ramp up our game when the opponent hits .350."
For the second straight match, sophomore Lauren Whyte led the Colonials with 17 kills and added 11 digs for 19 points. Senior Leah Hill hit .257 on 10 kills with 15 digs for 12 points and sophomore Katie Crosby assisted on 37 of GW's 45 kills.
Sophomore libero Candace Silva-Martin matched Hill's 15 digs.
Two of the Eagles' starting seniors, Queens, NY native Angelina Waterman and Warsaw, Poland native Magdalena Tekiel were the Eagles' go-to players on offense as they were set a combined 80 times and made good on nearly half of them with 35 kills for a .363 hitting percentage.
After a lackluster opening set for GW, set two turned dramatic when Whyte tied the frame at 24-24 on a service ace that just crawled over the tape and fell untouched. AU took a 25-24 lead on a kill before Leah Hill knotted it at 25-25 on a deep kill. AU regained the lead before Zuluandt again tied with a quick-set kill. Tekiel staked the Eagles to a 27-26 advantage before Zulandt again responded with a kill for a 27-27 tie. Tekiel killed a ball from the opposite side and GW's Armstrong dumped a kill to knot at 28-28. AU's Waterman pounded a kill and Whyte answered with the equalizer at 29-29. AU then blocked an attack by Knox to put AU up 30-29 followed by an Eagle timeout. Whyte dinked a kill in the corner to even it at 30-30 before AU's Bianca Richardson executed a pair of crosscourt kills to end the set at 32-30 in favor of the Eagles.
The third set was nearly as close when the Colonials broke a 23-23 tie on an Eagle service error and absorbed a pair of kills from Richardson to give AU a 25-24 lead. The Eagles then blocked an attack by Whyte to end the match.
Colonials' freshman Taylor Knox, younger sister of MacKenzie, made her collegiate debut in the third set and recorded three kills in seven swings.
AU (2-0) was led by Waterman's 19 kills and match-high 20 digs.
Even with Saturday's loss, GW still holds a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series with American and a 10-4 record in DC Challenge matches.
The GW-AU match was the third in the six-match DC Challenge, a round-robin tournament that features George Mason and American in addition to the Colonials and Hoyas. GMU and Georgetown faced off later Saturday at GMU's RAC.
GW (1-1) next plays later Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the final match of the DC Challenge against George Mason at the RAC. Free live statistical updates are available by going to www.GWsports.com and clicking on the GameTracker link.